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Imitation Ming dynasty Chenghua doucai <<chicken cup>>

仿明代成化斗彩鸡缸杯

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Porcelain
1 - A

Imitation Ming dynasty Chenghua doucai <<chicken cup>>

SIZE
Ø 8 cm
ORIGIN
Jingdezhen kilns
MATERIAL
porcelain
GLAZE
/
SHAPE
liquor cup traditional
PATTERN
doucai ("contending colors") with chicken
BEGINNING
Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
MAKING
100% handmade

The original chicken cup was auctioned at Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2014 for more than 30 million Euro.

This cup was made under the command of Emperor Chenghua of Ming dynasty. Alledgedly he had around ten pieces made and only three pieces remain till today. Emperor Chenghua used this cup to drink liquor with his wife, who was also his wet nurse.

The most striking feature of this cup is probably the naiive and childlike strokes of the chicken. The masters of Ming dynasty could definitely draw the most vivid chicken, but they didn't, by choice. It was most likely ordered by Chenghua himself. Similar aesthetics is also seen on other porcelain of Ming dynasty, for example, Ming blue-and-white porcelain, where precision matters less, while overall impression matters the most.


Doucai ("contending colors") is a technique combining underglaze blue and overglaze enamels.

Due to the similarity in pronunciation, chicken is a traditional symbol for good luck in China.

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